I remember my first IETF. It was 6 years ago in Chicago. I remember the group dinners; there was a lot of sitting around not really knowing people trying to understand how the IETF worked. There was also a lot of learning and listening to those who were doing the work and making the decisions. We sort of clumped by experience. Well, we actually clumped by who we knew, but that fairly quickly turned into clumping by experience.
AT one of the larger group dinners this week, it hit me that I'm no longer new to the IETF. The group of people I tend to hang out with—mostly a GSSAPI and Kerberos cabal—have become very active and involved. We're actually doing work, helping others and giving back to the process.
While it was nice to realize that I'm making a difference, it was also sad to think about all the people who have moved on and are no longer actively involved. Some of them are still around and working in an advisory role, Others seem to have burned out or had jobs take them in a different direction.